Since winning Comedy Idol in 2014, thirty-six year-old Judi Love’s comedy career has really started to take off. Amongst other things, she has appeared in a TV commercial, been part of a discussion panel for BBC 1Xtra’s “Black & British” season and rubbed shoulders with the likes of Idris Elba and Sir Lenny Henry.
Also, Judi’s humorous “Real Talk” videos are becoming increasingly popular on social media, with yesterday’s Facebook post having been viewed by almost two thousand people, so far. And on 26th May 2017, her first self-promoted show in London will be held at the Stratford Circus Theatre, featuring an all-female line-up.
On top of all that, this talented lady has completed her Masters, is a single mum-of-two and works part-time.
In this interview, Judi Love tells us about her comedy journey.
Have you always had a talent for comedy?
“Wherever I’ve worked, I always remember sitting down, with all my work colleagues round me laughing and crying. But, I never saw it as being a comedian. It was just me…”
What prompted you to actually pursue a comedy career?
“I think, one of the main things that made me do comedy was that, when my mum was passing away, I made her laugh. I thought to myself, rah, if I could make her laugh… maybe I’m supposed to do this.”
How did you get started?
“In one of my [degree] modules… I did a performance about my mum. She’d already passed away then… The actual lecturer said to me, ‘You should do stand-up.’ …He told me to go to the Comedy School so, for six weeks, they just helped me to know how to stand on stage and stuff like that. And then, I just started doing open mics… But, in 2014, Comedy Idol is what gave me a little stamp of, okay, I might get a little acknowledgement and get some bookings… That’s when I started to push it.”
How did people around you react?
“A lot of people were like, ‘You were born to do this! You should have done this long time ago!’ …And then I did get a lot of support from friends and family, coming out to shows.”
Have you ever felt that you’ve been sidelined, because you’re a black female, or over thirty, or a mum, etc?
“Actually, in comedy, being all these different elements has slightly worked for me. As a comedian, you use your difference so, you know, I’m a mum, I’m big, I’m a black woman, I have big hair and big eyes. Those are the things I use to enhance my presence on stage.
There’s only once I went for a show and I was told that I had the part… And then it was like, oh no, we’re sorry about that… you’ll hopefully be picked for something else… But then, when I saw it on TV, it was a younger girl… That’s what it was. And that particular TV channel actually said they want to appeal to a young audience… So, out of everything, maybe age… And obviously being a black woman, I’ve got less roles to apply for.”
How do you juggle working as a comedienne and being a single mum?
“I think the biggest support – which most people would have – I’d say, your mother, your father and the father of the child. For me, none of them are there. I’m not with the children’s dad and my mum passed away about seven years ago and my dad lives in Jamaica… But, I’ve got extended family and friends… I find I’ve been blessed that people have come to me and said, ‘Judes, I know you’re doing this, I see you’re here, there and everywhere. If you need a sitter, I’m there.’ …Sometimes that balance between the shows and being a parent is hard… But, it’s worth it.”
Judi Love’s star is clearly on the rise, so watch this space. And look out for her on Comedy Central’s “Drunk History” on Wednesday 26th April at 10pm.
*Headline image courtesy of Judi Love